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Geron wins stem cell technology patent, shares up

(Reuters) – Geron Corp. (GERN.O:Research) said on Tuesday it was granted a patent on a type of human embryonic stem cell growth technology, sending shares of the Biotechnology company up 10 percent.

Human embryonic stem cells are versatile cells that scientists hope to manipulate into various cells and tissues to treat a variety of diseases.

Menlo Park, California-based Geron said its patent covered growth of the cells in the absence of feeder cells.

The cells can come from embryos left over from attempts at in-vitro fertilization and from cloning technology. Those who oppose research using the cells say medical research on a human embryo is unethical.

Geron is looking at the cells to treat spinal cord injury, heart disease and diabetes.

Shares rose 65 cents or 10.2 percent to $7.04 on the Nasdaq in midmorning.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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